Moana buried . . . no drama as Muslim leaders, women take part in burial process

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HARARE socialite Mitchelle “Moana” Amuli was finally buried at Warren Hills Cemetery in the capital yesterday after spending exactly 20 days in a mortuary as her parents squabbled over the funeral arrangements.
Moana’s mother Yolander Kuvaoga intended to have a lavish send-off for her daughter and intended to bury her at Zororo Memorial Park.

However, her father Ishmael Amuli preferred a low-key funeral as per his Muslim faith while the burial
would take place at Warren Hills.

The matter spilled into the High Court where Kuvaoga sought to have the burial order obtained by her
ex-husband interdicted. After initially reserving judgment on two occasions, Justice Pisirai Kwenda finally ruled in Amuli’s favour on Friday paving way for Moana’s burial yesterday.

Moana, who was also popular in fitness circles, passed away on November 8 after she was involved in a horrific accident that also claimed the lives of Harare socialite Genius “Ginimbi” Kadungure, Malawian fugitive Limumba Karim and Mozambican model Alichia Adams.

Ginimbi’s Rolls Royce Wraith coupe crashed headon with a Honda Fit along Borrowdale Road in the early morning hours before it crashed into a tree and burst into flames.

Witnesses managed to pull Ginimbi out of the vehicle but Moana, Adams and Karim were burnt beyond recognition inside the wreckage.

The quartet was travelling from Ginimbi’s night club — Dreams — in the CBD where they had been celebrating Moana’s 26th birthday with other revellers.

Following the accident, DNA tests were needed to confirm the identities of both Moana and Adams which
further delayed the funeral proceedings.

However, there was no such drama when the funeral procession began at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals mortuary when the body was collected by a hearse provided by the local Muslim community
yesterday.

A sharp contrast from the futuristic hearse Kuvaoga had organised to ferry Moana’s remains when the
funeral was initially scheduled to have taken place two weeks ago. Outside the hospital morgue, family, friends and
onlookers lined up as the pallbearers carried the casket into the hearse.

From there, the funeral procession made its way to the Kuvaogas’ Engineering home in Highfield. After a brief stopover, the funeral cortege proceeded to Highfield Masjid Mosque located behind MaStones Shopping Centre where a short service was conducted.

One of the contentious issues between Kuvaoga and Amuli was the former’s allegations that women would
not be allowed at mosque and burial site. However, there was a clear cross-pollination of religions as the local Muslim community and leaders allowed women mourners to take part in every step of the of way. After the service, the funeral cortege finally made its way to Warren Hills and Moana was finally laid to rest devoid of all the drama that had characterised this funeral in the past three weeks.

Photographers, who are not normally welcome at Muslim funerals, were also allowed to cover the entire
burial.

“Let me take this opportunity to clarify some misconception and speculations associated with Islamic religion.
“Under normal circumstances, women are not allowed to attend the actual burial as the process is a
preserve for the men as it involves hard labour.

“But today (yesterday) for the sake of educating the society and promoting tolerance among different
cultures, we have allowed everyone to participate and attend the burial process,” one of the Islamic religious
leaders Sheika Abdullah Sikacha told the Daily News on Sunday on the side-lines of the burial.

Moana’s maternal uncle Austin Chimedza was relieved with how things finally played out after weeks of disagreements with the Amulis.

“Even us relatives of Mitchelle, from her mother’s side, we are so happy about how she was buried. “It was a learning moment for us. It was good to learn about the Islamic culture and we have appreciated it,” Chimedza said. Some of the notable celebrities and socialites, who attended the burial, include businessman Tinashe Mutarisi, socialite and actor Tyra “Madam Boss” Chikocho, music promoters Simbarashe “Bodyslam” Chakare and Simbarashe “Boss Damma” Chinachimwe among others.

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